Discover the secret Tibetan Buddhist land lying at the edge of one of the most secluded Himalayan valleys. Tsum Valley is one of world's remotest Himalayan Valleys which was also a restricted region until recently. The trek to Tsum Valley takes you into the majestic surroundings of the Ganesh Himal, Sringi Himal, and Boudha Himal ranges. The region once being part of Tibet looks completely different from what you will find elsewhere. The people of Tsum Valley or the Tsumbas belong to Tibetan origin with their own ancient form of dialect, art, culture and religion. Very few adventure travelers have made it to this high and mysterious valley, which used to be an important trade link with Tibet. In the initial days, we trek the route of Around Manaslu Trek or the Manaslu Circuit Trek. The Tsum Valley lies on the northern part of Manaslu and used to be a restricted area until 2008. The region is still less exposed in comparison to other touristy areas, with relatively virgin and less beaten paths in comparison to the more popular regions. The Tsum people have their own way of family life, which may be quite surprising for many outsiders. All the brothers in the family are married to a single girl, what you may call a practice of polyandry.
The trek start and end point is Arughat, a seven hours drive from Kathmandu. The first half of the trek ascends the Budhi Gandaki Valley on good paths through a mix of dense forest, terraced fields and hill villages. As we leave the main Manaslu Trail for the Tsum valley, suddenly we get a feeling of entering truly into the hidden valley. While on the trek, we also pass through the alpine forests, glacial rivers, and enjoy the warm hospitality of ethnic people. Pass the lower Buri Gandaki regions of Liding, Machhakhola, Jagat and Philim. We also visit the ancient Gombas of the region such as: Rachen Gompa,Mu Gompa, Dephyudonma Gompa.
Trekking seasonThe best months are September, October & November during the Autumn season and after mid March, April & May during the spring season are consider as the best seasons for doing this trek. Regarding monsoon season at summer time we do not suggest to try this route from June till August. But at autumn months weather is perfect: there is no rain, and it is warm enough.
Day 01: Arrive Kathmandu & Transfer to Hotel (1,300m/4,264ft)
Upon our arrival in the Tribhuwan International Airport (TIA) in Kathmandu, we will be greeted by a representative from Friendship World Treks who will drop us off at our hotel. After checking in, we take a rest or visit Friendship World Treks’s office. We may also stroll in the streets of Thamel, a tourist hub in Kathmandu for some souvenir shopping. In the evening, there will be a welcome dinner hosted by Friendship World Treks at Resturant For dinner, you will be served excellent authentic Nepalese cuisine which will introduce you to the Nepalese food culture. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 02: Kathmandu: Sightseeing and Trek Preparation
Today after breakfast we start a guided tour to several of the most historical and spiritual attractions in Kathmandu. Some of these landmarks are considered World Heritage Sites; including the historic Durbar Square, the sacred Hindu temple of Pashupati Nath, the famous 'Monkey Temple' (Swayambunath) and Buddhists shrine (BouddhaNath) which is one of the large Stupas in the world. In the afternoon, there will be a pre-trip discussion where we can meet our trek leader and other team members. Friendship World Treks briefs us regarding our trek as well as provides us opportunity to ask any questions we may have regarding our upcoming adventure. Overnight at Kathmandu.
Day 03: Drive Kathmandu to Arughat (600m/1,968ft) 7-8 hours drive
A 7-8 hour's drive from Kathmandu into the western mountains takes us to Arughat via Dhadingbesi, headquarter of the Dhading district. Through the dirt road from Dhadingbesi viewing the greenery hills we reach Arughat, our trek start point. Arughat is a major town in the region and is divided in two parts with the Budhi Gandaki river flowing between them. Overnight at Arughat.
Day 04: Arughat to Soti Khola (700m/2,296ft): 5-6 hours
We cross the bridge over Budhi Gandaki and begin our trek from the western part of Arughat., we follow the stone-paved street north through the bazaar. We pass through the hydro- electric power plant, fields of rice and millet to Mangaltar, and through forests we arrive at Shanti Bazar. The trail to Budhi Gandaki valley now becomes steeper and the trek more difficult as we cross the Arkhet Khola on a suspension bridge, passing the shops of Arkhet Bazar. Descend to a high, cascading waterfall making a long steep slog up a ridge to Kuerepani. Then from here the trail descends to Soti Khola. Overnight stay at the campsite at Soti Khola. Overnight at Soti Khola.
Day 05: Soti Khola to Maccha Khola (870m/2,952ft): 6-7 hours
Cross the bridge and trek through the beautiful Sal forests, then climb onto a ridge above huge rapids on the Budhi Gandaki. The rocky trail then weaves its way up and down, past two tropical waterfalls on a steep, rocky trail clinging to the side of a cliff. It eventually makes its way down and past a few rice terraces, then up and around to the Gurung village of Labubesi. Climb behind a rocky outcrop, where the valley opens and the Budhi Gandaki meanders among wide gravel bars. Drop to the sandy river bed and walk along rounded stones before climbing over a side ridge. Head down again to the river and traverse to Machha Khola village. Overnight at Machha Khola.
Day 06: Maccha Khola to Jagat (2340m/7676ft): 6-7 hours
The narrow trail makes some minor ups and downs and eventually crosses the Tharo Khola, flowing in a rocky ravine, then reaches Khorlabesi. After a few more ups & downs there is a small trailside hotspring, from where we reach to Tatopani. From the Hot spring we climb over another ridge, then cross the Budhi Gandaki on a suspension bridge. Climb on a wide, well-crafted staircase, then across a landslide and over a ridge to Dobhan. Crossing a suspension bridge over the Dobhan Khola, the trail climbs on a rugged trail to Duman. Ascending up again to the Budhi Gandaki, we reach at Yaru Khola. Crossing a suspension bridge over the Yaru Khola we climb the stone stairs and then drop to the river and again climb more stone stairs to Tharo Bharyang. Cross to the west bank of the budhi gandaki, climb over a ridge, and trek along the river then climb towards the village of Jagat.
Day 07: Jagat to Chisopani (1660m/5,445ft): 4-5 hours
After completing with the ACAP procedure, we climb over a rocky ridge to Salleri, and then descend to Sirdibas. The valley widens a bit as the trail continues up to Ghatta Khola. Continue upstream to a long simple hanging bridge. Climb up to Philim, a large gurung village. Philim valley is well known for Japanese made school and police station. Walk past Philim to the north across a forest with the views of the narrowing valley we reach Chisopani. Overnight at Chisopani.
Day 08: Chisopani to Chumling (2,386m/7,827ft): 6 - 7 hours
After Ekle Bhatti cross the gorge and half an hour walk in the right side we get to see the big and beautiful waterfall and enter the pine tree forests. Descend down to trail going to the Tsum Valley. Climb through pine and rhododendron forests. Enjoy the views of Himalchuli mountains at 7893m and Boudha Himal from Lokpa, a small beautiful village. Pass Lokpa, descend half an hour towards Lungwa khola and climbing jick jack difficult trail further two hours north through pines and rhododendrons we reach Gumlung. Crossing the Siyar Khola, finally arrive at Chumling, from where we can view Shringi Himal. Visit the old Chumling gompa, and the stone streets of the village.
Day 09: Chumling to Chokhangparo (3,010m/9,903ft): 4-5 hours
Cross the suspension bridge onto the opposite bank. Enjoy the great views of Ganesh Himal. Walk past Rainjam to Serpu Khola crossing another bridge we arrive at the Gho Village. Another continues 2 hours climb to Tsum takes us to the village of Chhokangparo. Weather permitting; enjoy the views of Himalchuli at 7893 meters and Ganesh Himal at7140m. Overnight at Chokhangparo.
Day 10: Chokhangparo to Nile (3,361m/11,058ft): 5-6 hours
While climbing above Chokhangparo, better to be careful of altitude problems. Walk past Lamagaon crossing rope suspension bridge to the Rachen Gompa, which is also well known as Nunnery Gompa too. We make a small visit and then we cross the Shiar Khola. Continue walking through the well managed villages Lar (micro hydro power), Phurbe and Pangdun. Leaving old historic Stupa of Bhudda in a way crossing the village of Chhule, climb upstream and cross the bridge to finally arrive at Nile. If you consider we can make your visit to a famous monastery of Chhule which is located in the top of area.
Day 11: Nile to Mu Gompa (3,700m/12,174ft): 3 hours
We are now almost close to the Tibetan border. Walk to the west bank of the valley through the Tibetan landscapes. Climb up to the Mu Gompa. We also visit the monastery. Then after, we make a visit to the Dhephu Doma Gompa.
Day 12: Mu Gompa, sightseeing
Today we make a sightseeing of the whole Mu Gompa Region. Mu Gompa is the largest monastery in the region. The Gompa lies at the highest and most remote part of the Tsum Valley. After exploring the Mu Gompa area, you may also consider the option of getting to the base of Pika Himal (4865m).
Day 13: Mu Gompa to Burgi Village (3,245m/10644ft) via Milarepa cave: 5 hours
Trek back through Chhule and Phurbe, on the east bank of the Shiar Khola. Finally we arrive at Burgi village. The Burgi village is a small beautiful village. Climb up to the Milarepa's Cave Milarepa Cave (piren phu) is known for its mesmerizing glimpses of Poshyop Glacier, Kipu Himal and Churke himal.
Day 14: Burgi village -Chumling (2,386/7,827ft): 5-6 hours
Continue trekking watching the greenery of nature and descend down to Chhokang Paro again. From their continue descending to Gho. Descending further, we arrive at the bridge over the Sarpu Khola. Trekking along the lower Tsum Valley takes you to again Chumling.
Day 15: Chumling to Philim (1,570m/5,103ft): 6-7 hours
The trail continues to Lokpa. After lunch south on a flat trail we move ahead. Enjoy the gorgeous Samba Falls. Finally arrive at Philim after 6 or 7 hours long trekking. A trail passes through the Phillim village that leads to the Ganesh Himal Base Camp.
Day 16: Philim to Khorlabesi(970m/3182ft: 6-7 hours
Trek starts today from Philim to Khorlabesi via Jagat and Tatopani. Descend down to Sirdibas and we finally reach to Jagat. Further descend takes us to Yaruphant. The arid Tibetan climate now gives way to subtropical green vegetation. Continue trekking to Dobhan. Finally arrive at Tatopani. There is a hot spring at Tatopani. If interested, you may dip yourself in the hot spring and relax your tired muscles by soaking yourself in the hot spring. If not continue walking up and down from Tatopani to reach Khorlabesi, our rest place for the day.
Day 17: Khorlabesi to Soti Khola (700m/2,296ft): 6-7 hours
The trail crosses the Tharo Khola flowing in a rocky ravine. Head down again to the river and traverse to Machha Khola village. Walk along the Budhi Gandaki River to reach to Gurung village of Labubesi. Pass the two waterfalls on a steep rocky trail on the side of a cliff. We then reach Khursane. Walk along the ridge above Budhi Gandaki and cross the Sal forests. Finally, cross the bridge to arrive at Soti Khola.
Day 18: Soti Khola to Arughat to Kathmandu (600m/1,968ft): Walk 4 hours and drive 7-8 hours
Climb up to the ridge of Kyorpani. Descend down to the cascading waterfall. Trekking further arrive at Arkhet. Cross the Arkhet Khola. We are now leaving the Budhi Gandaki Valley. Arrive at Sante Bazaar; pass through the forests to Maltar. Finally, passing by the hydroelectric plant following the stone streets, we arrive at the Arughat Bazar. Back to Kathmandu along the banks of the Marsyangdi and Trishuli rivers with splendid views of green hills, mountains, farming terraces and villages on both sides of the road. To celebrate the successful completion of our journey, we will have a farewell dinner at Nepali Resturant in Kathmandu where we can pick our meal from their carefully crafted menu that offer a wide range of choices. Overnight in Kathmandu.
Day 19: Farewell Friends
Your adventure in Nepal comes to an end today! There is nothing to do but trade emails with travel companions and organize the photos. If you have more time you can do some shopping or sightseeing. A representative from Friendship World Treks will take you to the airport approximately 3 hours before the scheduled flight. On your way home you'll have plenty of time to plan your next adventure in the wonderful country of Nepal.
Important Note :
Your safety is of paramount concern while traveling with Friendship World Treks. Please note that your leader has the authority to amend or cancel any part of the itinerary if it is deemed necessary due to safety concerns. Every effort will be made to keep to the above itinerary; however, since this adventure entails travelling in remote mountainous regions, we cannot guarantee that we will not deviate from it. Weather conditions, health condition of a group member, unexpected natural disasters, etc., can all contribute to changes in the itinerary. The leader will try to ensure that the trip runs according to plan, but please be prepared to be flexible if required.